If you loved Triple Triad and Tetra Master, the collectible card games included in Final Fantasy VIII and IX respectively, then you'll probably be quite annoyed by the format being utilised in this cash-hungry free-to-play movie tie-in.
Just in time for the theatrical release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, Rivals takes pictures of people and creatures from the updated sci-fi franchise, sticks them on virtual cards, and asks you to pay for them in mildly clever ways. (In the 23rd century there is no use for money — get credits while you can!)
There are numbers on all four sides of each card. Players take turns placing these cards on a 3x3 playing field. If on player's number is higher than that of an adjacent enemy card, that card is taken over. It's Triple Triad, only with a chain effect — newly taken-over cards will attack enemy cards adjacent to them as well.
What's a fun card game in the context of Final Fantasy is rather lousy in the context of a free-to-play, multiplayer-only affair. After a brief tutorial, the only way to play is by taking turns with friends or strangers online, a slow and tedious process. Instead of collecting 172 cards throughout the course of a grand adventure, we're bombarded with ads for card packs and special sales and rare cards and other such bullshit.
Star Trek Rivals is boldly going where better games have gone before, and property values are going to go way down when it moves in. It's comforting to know the tradition of money-grab movie games is alive and well in the mobile market.
Star Trek Rivals
- Genre: Turn-based multiplayer card game
- Developer: Elephant Mouse
- Platform: iOS
- Price: Free